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October 2013
Utah's Art Magazine: Published by Artists of Utah
Page 2   

Studio Space: Salt Lake City
A Magpie's Nest

After a decade, Randall Lake is once again opening his studio to the public

Randall Lake’s first studio in Paris on the Rue de Grenelle was near the Eiffel Tower. He describes it as the size of a maid’s room, with no natural light, in a seven-story walk-up building. When Lake came to Utah in 1973 to study with Alvin Gittins (and decided to stay) he found a studio at the Guthrie building in downtown Salt Lake City. He still works there today. It has four rooms, making it more than four times the square footage of the ‘maid’s room’. And it’s a good thing, too. Those four rooms are as rich and colorful as his current paintings, which will be on view during his Studio Show beginning October 10th.  

Over the past forty years in the studio, Lake has  gathered a fascinating and eclectic collection of objects and fabrics, some of which you might recognize if you have followed his work, or might see in a future painting. ‘‘Everything I get finds its way into  a painting,” he says.  Antique ink wells, clocks, globes, Chinese vases and furniture compete with scales, masks, Sevres porcelain pieces, a chest crammed with a beautiful assortment of fabrics, and what looks like an apothecary chest, that he “… hauled back from Hampton Court in London.”  

Once an annual event, almost a decade has passed since Lake has opened his studio to the public. In anticipation of the October show, the artist gave us a tour of the space (during which we also got sneak preview of works that will be in the show). He pointed out a teapot from Borneo he got in Vancouver’s Chinatown sitting next to a Sevres pot. On one wall there’s an old map of Edo (before it became Tokyo) that he found in Berlin. He rummaged through a cabinet to show us a Mbuti pygmy tribe cloth from Kenya that he found in Paris. “It reminds me of Cezanne,” he says. While at his home in Spring City, Utah, he found a set of 4 porcelain plates, most likely part of a child’s tea set, at a yard sale. They were made by Porcelain Haviland in France. He got them all for a dollar. Even a closet door in one of the studio rooms has a story: commissioned to paint a mural on the bathroom ceiling of a private residence in Salt Lake City (the mythological figure of Paris (or Alexandros) and the downfall of the city of Troy was the subject), Lake used the door to practice the techniques he would utilize in the mural.

Lake says he was the luckiest man alive when going through customs during his travels.  “I’d get a steamer trunk in France or Italy and just cram it with stuff. If they had searched just the top layer, what was there might have exceeded the $400.00 limit. They never even looked.”

You too will feel lucky if you are able to attend the opening reception for his open studio which runs from 6 to 10 pm on Thursday the 10th (On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the 11-13, the hours will be from noon to 6pm). Guthrie Artist Studios is located at 158 E. 200 South. Lake's studio is on the top floor.

On the Spot
Green River's Maria Sykes
Maria Sykes


eMy life became consumed with all things Iceland last month when I purchased a plane ticket to present the community design work of Epicenter at Design March, Iceland's annual design conference. I've always been fascinated by the films, art, literature, and music of Iceland, and now I have a focused reason to continue my research of their culture. My bedside table is packed with books on Iceland's sagas, folklore, architecture, and history.


When my paternal grandfather passed away, my father inherited all of his bizarre and beautiful furniture. My favorite piece was a gaming table designed in an Italian Baroque style. At first glance, the table appears to just be an ornate card table, but when you lift the tabletop there is beautiful green felt for playing card games held within. As a child, the next step blew my mind, when you lift up the felt piece, a fully functioning roulette wheel was revealed. There's something about mysterious objects that reveal themselves to you piece by piece. You begin to imagine the previous owners and users utilizing the furniture, partying and having a great time together, maybe getting into a fight over some cash, or hurriedly closing up the gambling table when the police stop by because the music was too loud.


eIt may be conceited, but my favorite building in Utah is the Epicenter building in Green River. In 2009, me and my college architecture school colleague and I moved to Green River to create a community design center. Our first project was to purchase, raise funds for, and renovate a century-old building with our our own hands and resources. The building had sat vacant for over a decade and was previously a billiards room, so it was quite the challenge to renovate. Four years later, the building now acts as the Epicenter headquarters -- a studio of sorts, housing all of our programs, staff, artists-in-residence, office space, basement workshop, and all the tools you need to build a house. Everyday I get to work in my favorite building in Utah and think about the literal blood, sweat, and tears, we poured into it and the volunteers who helped out. Ultimately, it's why I'm in Green River.
Maria Sykes

15 Bytes: About Us
Our editorial contributors

Ashley AndersonAshley Anderson is a choreographer based in Salt Lake City. She is founder of loveDANCEmore, a blog and biannual journal about dance in Utah, and currently serves as 15 Bytes's Dance Editor.

Liberty BlakeKrystal K. Baker, B.A., M.Ed., is a Language Arts teacher at Payson High School, and freelance writer. Her work has appeared in The Salt Lake Tribune, The Ogden Standard Examiner, The Daily Herald, City Weekly, BYU Magazine, Seeing the Everyday, and the Kolob Canyon Review.

Ehren ClarkEhren Clark studied art history at both the University of Utah and the University of Reading in the UK. He is now a professional writer.

Bill FultonBill Fulton enjoys painting, photographing and being a psychotherapist. He is delighted that the latter is fulfilling because the rewards of the former two have been more psychic than fiscal.

Carol FultonCarol Fulton got her degree in radio and television production a long time ago. She was born in Brazil and lived in many countries, being a Foreign Service officer brat. Now retired from the airline industry, she volunteers at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, and dabbles in oil painting and found-object sculpture.

John HughesJohn Hughes is an award-winning artist and teacher who has been painting the landscape both in and out of the studio since 1983. He maintains a studio in Taylorsville and teaches students in private workshops and in a course at Salt Lake Community College.

Geoff WichertAndrew Rice recently completed his MFA at the University of Utah and currently maintains an active studio practice out of the Poor Yorick Studios. His works are dark, comprising of a sole subject marooned on a bleak, urban landscape. Working with intaglio, screenprint and more recently, relief prints, he seeks to investigate the dichotomy between a person and the spaces they inahibit, focusing on they both protect and distance. 

Zoe RodriguezZoë Rodriguez, a native of San Francisco, is a full-time photographer and designer. She is currently working on What I Thought I Saw, a book project that challenges our perceptions of how we see people.

Shawn RossiterShawn Rossiter, a native of Boston, was raised on the East Coast. He has degrees in English, French and Italian Literature. A professional artist and writer, he founded Artists of Utah in 2001 and is editor of its magazine, 15 Bytes.

Portia SnowPortia Snow, is a photographer living in Salt Lake City with her husband and nine-year-old daughter. She loves capturing moments and surprises that hide in the spaces between.

Geoff WichertGeoff Wichert has degrees in critical writing and creative nonfiction. He writes about art to settle the arguments going on in his head.

Artists of Utah News
We're Looking for a new Editorial Intern

Artists of Utah's 15 Bytes is looking for a new editorial intern, for the fall semester and possibly beyond. We've had great success in the past with our interns and look forward to bringing fresh blood to our publication.

The 15 Bytes Editorial Intern is an important part of our organization, helping to make 15 Bytes and our Daily Bytes possible. The intern works directly with the 15 Bytes editorial staff to produce, edit and lay out content in our publications.

You'll be working with Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Wordpress and other online publication platforms, learning important skills that will be valuable to a variety of employers. You'll also be working in the coolest field around — the arts.

Applicants must be able to work well on their own initiative, play well with others (the public and our volunteer writers and photographers) and be able to produce on a deadline. Strong writing skills and familiarity with Adobe's Creative Suite or Final Cut Pro is preferred.

If you're interested, please email 15 Bytes editor Shawn Rossiter at editor@artistsofutah.org and include any qualifications, current schooling and specific goals to achieve from the internship.

15 Bytes

is published monthly by Artists of Utah, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization located in Salt Lake City Utah. The opinions expressed in these articles are those of the contributors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of 15 Bytes or Artists of Utah. Our editions are published monthly on the first Wednesday of the month. Our deadline for submissions is the last Wednesday of the preceding month.

Writers and photographers who contribute material to 15 Bytes are members of the arts community who volunteer their time. Please contact the editor if you have an idea for an article or feature, or if you would like to volunteer your time to the organization.

Materials may be mailed to:
Artists of Utah
P.O. Box 526292
SLC, UT 84152

Editor: Shawn Rossiter
Assistant Editor: Laura Durham
Literary Editor: David G. Pace
Dance Editor: Ashley Anderson

Mixed Media: Terrece Beesley
You can contact 15 Bytes at editor@artistsofutah.org

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